What's Real In Cap Numbers?

Thanks to Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings are already near the "real" salary cap number the Vikes need to spend, while still under the "actual" salary cap by about $12 million.

Figuring out the league's salary cap policy takes Stephen Hawking and a room full of calculators. In many cases, even team owners, coaches and players don't know, which is why many teams have hired capologists to do that dirty work.

The league doesn't give out a precise formula -- even the parts it does are difficult at best to understand -- but the Vikings are playing by two numbers this year. With the second portion of the signing bonus to Randy Moss, the new signing bonus to Daunte Culpepper and lesser bonuses for free agent signings, the Vikings are already within the "actual" spending limit of $75 million -- a requirement under cap rules.

Yet, when contract money is added up under the pro-rated cap specialty, the Vikings still have between $10-13 million of available cap money. It's now looking like much or all of that will remain unspent, leaving the Vikings passing on a rare opportunity to add talent for a one-year run -- but the team may be getting used to passing on opportunities if draft day was any indication.

While VU continues to hear rumors that McCombs is looking to sell the team to a Los Angeles-based group (or at least a minority interest at this point), not spending to make the team more successful, get more notice and get the Vikes back on the Monday Night Football schedule just doesn't add up. Maybe that's part of McCombs personal salary cap system lay-people don't understand.

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